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July 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Bid dispute ends in Northgate light-rail tunnel project

Traylor Brothers has decided to walk away from its dispute with Sound Transit over flaws in the bid process to bore a 4.3-mile tunnel from Husky Stadium to Northgate.

The Indiana-based firm, leading the Traylor Frontier-Kemper (TFK) joint venture, had asked for a rebid, after TFK says it wasn’t notified of changed bid rules in May. Specifically, Sound Transit decided late in the process to fully pay contractors during the work, instead of withholding 5 percent until completion. TFK bid $465 million for the job, and its bid was ruled “unresponsive,” while the lowest of the six bids was $440 million, by JayDee, Coluccio, and Michels.  Steve Owen, Traylor Brothers general counsel, later used the phrase “Keystone Kops” to describe confusion within the agency’s electronic documentation.

But last week, Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl denied the appeal, saying among other arguments that a rebid “would significantly harm the public” through delays, because the entire timeline for the Northgate line depends on the tunnel boring schedule. The entire $2.1 billion segment, including stations, trains, signals and engineering, is to open in 2021.

Traylor could have sued, but Owen said Thursday that would go against its “corporate culture” to cooperate with agencies — as well as cost a sizable amount of money, with no assurance of winning. “We maintain a strong desire to work on future tunneling projects in the Seattle area,” a company statement added.  TFK is currently building an underground light-rail segment from Husky Stadium to Capitol Hill, to open in 2016.

0 Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: Northgate, Sound Transit

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